Export of semiconductor manufacturing technology will be restricted.
The Japanese government announced Friday it will impose stricter controls on the export of certain semiconductor manufacturing technology and equipment in the future. Starting in July, exports will require approval from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Nikkei writes, unless they are destined for one of 42 countries and regions “designed as friendly.” These include the EU and chip stronghold Taiwan, according to Handelsblatt.
Even if China is not explicitly named, Japan thus joins the export controls of the United States. These are intended to restrict the People’s Republic’s access to advanced chips, which can also be used for military applications and the further development of artificial intelligence.
Ten companies would likely be affected, including Tokyo Electron, Screen Holdings, and Nikon, according to Nikkei. While Japan once dominated chip production, its market share is now about 10 percent, Reuters writes, but the country is still a major supplier for manufacturing. Tokyo Electron and Screen produced about one-fifth of the world’s chip production machines.
Just recently, as we reported, the Netherlands had joined U.S. export controls, citing national security concerns. The European country is home to ASML, a manufacturer of highly specialized lithography systems essential to the production of advanced chips.